Until next time friends.
This weekend Will and I got up early (in fact the earliest we have been up in months) and headed for The Highlands! A friend recommended a tour company called Hairy Coo as they do a free day tour of The Highlands. Too good to be true right? Not in this case, the goodness was aaaaall real. You secure your place online and just turn up on the day - no payment in advance. Hairy Coo work on the philosophy that you pay what you think the tour is worth which pushes them to provide the best tour possible. So the tour works on a tips basis where you pay as little or as much as you like at the end. I cannot recommend this tour highly enough. If you are only in Edinburgh for a few days and want to see a bit more of Scotland, this is the perfect way.
The first stop was the famous 'Forth Bridge' which appears in a lot of photos of Edinburgh. It is nicknamed the bridge that will never fall down as that is what the engineers who built it were commissioned to do. The water that the bridge is built across currently has 2 main bridges with a 3rd on the way. The constant rising of bridges is proving quite an inconvenience for the hotel opposite, once simply called "The Bridge". With each new bridge that has been erected comes a new name. The name is "3 Bridges" at present but the sign writer is on speed dial.
Next it was on to the town of Stirling, home of the beautiful Stirling Castle and birthplace of the great William Wallace. We stopped for a few great photo ops before making our way up to the Wallace Monument. I was so impressed with our tour guide Donald and all the information he has retained. If history was more like this in high school maybe I would have paid more attention. He provided so many facts about all the areas we visited, right down to birth dates, the misrepresentation of Braveheart and a killer Sean Connery impression. I also appreciated how brutally honest he as about what attractions deserved our money and which didn't. William Wallace's sword wasn't currently on display at the monument due to construction so that didn't deserve our money.
The drive into The Highlands alone was gorgeous. I would have been happy to just sit on the bus and stare out the window for the day. The countryside is very similar to New Zealand. New Zealand seem to have this idea that we are the most beautiful country in the world and the only one with this whole 'green' thing going on but there are countries out there giving it a good run for it's money - Scotland is one of them.
Scotland is covered in castle's a lot of which have been used for the filming of different TV shows and movies. On the tour we got to visit Doune Castle which is most famous for Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well as the pilot episode of Game of Thrones. Willem was rather excited about the latter.
This tour felt a lot more personal than other tours I have been on. These guys have a genuine love for The Highlands and want everyone to see it so have made it easily accessible. We got to see parts of The Highlands that other tours don't go on such as Lake of Menteith just because it was one of Donald's favourite spots.
A highlight for me and a major pulling point of the tour is seeing and feeding the Highland Coo's or Hairy Coo's if ya like. As we were driving into The Highland's we started to see them everywhere but got to pull over and see them up close.
The tour gets back to Edinburgh at about 6pm, you are exhausted by the end of it, but you really get the most out of the day. Like I said I can't recommend The Hairy Coo Tour highly enough and it's made me so much more excited to see more of Scotland.
Until next time friends.
A writer, explorer, and music enthusiast. This site is where I share my thoughts, aspirations, adventures, and mishaps.